Rated 2.0

Tobey Maguire isn’t the only one who delivers a stellar performance here. Co-stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Natalie Portman are equally strong—and it’s this strength (and only this strength, it turns out) that moves this film forward, keeps us enthralled and even makes us cry a little. The film is about two brothers, Sam (Maguire) and Tommy (Gyllenhaal), who couldn’t be more different. Sam went the military route, is disciplined and has a beautiful wife, Grace (Portman), and two cute daughters. Tommy has spent time in prison. After Sam is re-deployed to Afghanistan and subsequently presumed dead, Tommy fills in at home, taking care of the kids and his widowed sister-in-law. Then Sam reappears, having endured serious trauma, and nothing is quite the same. The pace is slow, and choppy, as director Jim Sheridan goes back and forth between simultaneous scenes on the home front, with Tommy and Grace, and abroad, with Sam as a POW. A lot of people will walk away emotionally affected, but there is a lack of closure that, along with the uneven storytelling, will leave many confused and not quite satisfied. Feather River Cinemas and Tinseltown. Rated R